Monday, 10 September 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is new normal, or new normalcy, as explained by Barry Jones in his piece in the Australian Higher Education section last week. He quoted Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the United States, as saying in October 2001: "Many of the steps we have now been forced to take will become permanent in American life, part of a 'new normalcy' that reflects an understanding of the world as it is." He was referring to restrictions on civil liberties, debate, freedom of information and the rights of prisoners, among other things which are part of the new normalcy. To argue that something is part of a new normality - and the term has become used in many other contexts over the past five years - is in reality a debating trick.

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